Hi :) This is the multi-chapter fic I was talking about. I'm uploading all the chapters I've written now (five) and six is a work in progress! :D I really hope you like it.
His muscles were clearly visible under the thin t-shirt he was wearing, and her mouth was dry. The fact that it was almost ninety degrees didn't help either.
She shifted uneasily, her cheeks warm and the horrible feeling of sweat creeping round her underarms. Her hair was already in a ponytail, and she was wearing the lightest clothing she owned.
The snap of his laptop shutting made her jump. He glanced at her, a smirk appearing.
She tried not to swoon.
"You OK?" he asked her in that wonderfully rich, deep voice of his. She nodded and crossed her legs. She didn't notice that he swallowed hard when a little more leg was visible.
The clock ticked, their hormones bubbled, and the heat fanned across them.
Spencer bought five fans the next day, positioning them in the kitchen, the living room, his bedroom, Carly's room, and the iCarly studio. It was easier to do the webshow that week, and they made up for the lethargic mood they'd worn the week before.
The Groovy Smoothie was packed when they arrived, and so when they got their smoothies and fries they headed to the park. Finding a bench, Carly slumped on it eagerly, Freddie imitating her. Sam came back from stealing a ball off a few kids their age playing soccer, and the three of them sat there, slurping their cold smoothies in happy silence.
Naturally, Sam finished first, and began to munch on multiple fries at a time. Carly and Freddie watched her stuff huge handfuls in her mouth in mild disbelief, until Freddie exhaled heavily and his breath hit Carly's shoulder. She froze; gripping the cup a little tighter and feeling the goosebumps erupt on her skin.
The dress she was wearing had spaghetti straps, leaving the top of her back and her shoulders bare. Her pale skin set off the pastel lilac of the fabric, and her dark hair contrasted well with it.
She'd looked in the mirror earlier and had felt rather pleased with it.
Not that it was for anything. Not that she was trying to look pretty for anyone.
Of course not.
Sam slept over that night. They ended up on the couch, Carly's bare shoulder being Sam's pillow and a big cushion as Carly's. Their flannel pyjamas were enough to keep them cool, and they managed to sleep from eleven till nine.
School had ended a week ago, leaving them with seven weeks of summer left. Sam was going to Vegas with her mom as a very late 18th birthday present (she'd offered for Carly to go with her but Carly was a year younger) some time in August, Spencer had a two week Galaxy Wars convention to go to, and Freddie was heading to visit his aunt in Idaho next week.
She wasn't going anywhere. This depressing thought was her first that morning. Her friends were disappearing and reappearing all over the place, while she stayed exactly where she was.
She was going to miss them.
As she gently moved Sam over to the other side and tucked the big cushion under her soft, blonde curls, Carly blinked back a few tears.
Freddie's arms looked much stronger these days.
Carly found herself noticing these little things during the week that followed. At one rehearsal he had to move his heavy tech cart back a little for an iCarly skit, and he did it entirely by himself.
This was Freddie; her sweet, kind, smart best friend, with warm eyes and a bright smile. She started twirling her hair around her fingers whenever he was in the room, like it was eighth grade again and she was crushing on Jake and squealing with Sam behind corners between classes.
Except that everything Jake did made her stand stock still with her mouth open; with Freddie, it made her smile. She vaguely remembered those three days when she could kiss him whenever she liked, and they said things to each other that were too old for them.
Freddie's last afternoon before he left was filled with him yelling through the door at his mom, Spencer reminding him to say hi to little Stephanie and baby Oliver, and the heat of him washing over her every time he plonked, exhausted, down next to her on the couch.
Sam shot her last insult, Spencer ruffled his hair, and Carly slipped into his arms in the final five minutes.
"Will you text me when you get there?" she asked quietly, fingers digging into his back. He grinned and nodded.
"Of course I will," he answered softly, before leaning down her and pressing his lips to her cheek.
"I'll miss you," he breathed into her ear, and then he strode out of the door.
"Go eat some ham."
"I already did."
Carly glared feebly at her, too hot to really direct any annoyance at Sam. Spencer was out for the day and so they'd stolen all the fans and moved them to the living room where they were currently watching Girly Cow and out of refreshments.
"Come on, Carly! It'll be less humid outside. Maybe we can go to the pool, or something," Sam suggested.
Carly shook her head. "I want to sleep. But you can go. I think Wendy's around."
Sam said nothing in return to this, only moving closer.
"Are you OK?" she asked. "You've been pretty down this week."
Carly shrugged and played around with her phone.
"Carly, he'll be back in three days. Come on, we can go shopping! You can drag me into Glitter Gloss and then make me pretty here," Sam said in a sing-song voice.
"He only texted me once," Carly muttered.
"Carly, call him."
Carly looked at Sam. "Should I?"
"Well, you miss him, clearly, and I really think you should tell him that you have something very important to say when you get back," Sam finished with a wicked grin.
Carly blinked. "What?"
Sam moved so that they were nose-to-nose.
"You like him," she said slowly.
A blush flooded Carly's cheeks. She had yet to accept that, and this only made her denial worse.
"I don't like him," she scoffed, breaking eye contact.
"You're right," Sam agreed. "You love him."
Carly went even redder. "I...well...you can't say that!"
"Even when it's true?" Sam replied, raising her eyebrows.
"What makes you think I'm in love with him?" Carly asked her pointedly. Sam shrugged.
"Well, we know he's hopelessly head over heels for you, and you do the stuff he does except in a more feminine way," she explained.
"Well, you automatically look a lot happier when he comes into the room. And I can see you staring at him, and I notice that you smile a lot more, and you wear make-up, and, I don't know," Sam broke off, her voice dropping. "You don't look at anyone else like that."
Carly sank backwards, her hand pressed to her forehead.
Freddie arrived late, pulling up to Bushwell Plaza in his mom's Prius at about one am. He was tired from the journey, and worn out from babysitting two small children. He grabbed his suitcase and followed his mother into the lobby, where they were screamed at by Lewbert (he just washed the floors, and couldn't they be a little quieter, for Pete's sake?).
It was three before he fell asleep, and even then he was too excited about seeing Carly and Sam and Spencer to sleep well.
He looked awful the next morning – bleary, blotchy, and scruffy. His mother shrieked in horror at the sight of him, and he was subject to twenty minutes of combing and washing. His knee bounced in eagerness to go across the hall. Finally, he was announced presentable, and he hurried through the door, flexing his shirt quickly in the humid air that seemed to float everywhere.
He hadn't even raised his fist to knock when the Shay's door was open and he was being hugged very tightly. He wrapped his arms happily around her, inhaling her flowery perfume.
"Hi," she murmured, pulling back. Her eyes shone.
"Hey," he replied, his hand still resting on her waist. She opened her mouth again, but Spencer's loud cry of pain made them jump away from each other.
"Spencer?" Carly called, rushing through the door. Freddie followed her.
"I'm OK," shouted Spencer's muffled voice. "I wouldn't try washing an ostrich in here."
Carly sighed and dropped onto her couch. Freddie sat next to her and her head leant on his shoulder.
"What am I going to do with him?" she moaned. Freddie stifled a laugh and patted her knee.
"I think he'll be OK," he reassured her. "Don't worry."
She looked at him. "Really?"
He nodded, and they stared at each other.
Her eyes were still shining.
Had she ever been this small?
Her small hand was touching his arm, then his shoulder, then his chest. His fingers ached to feel her skin, and the need intensified when she pressed the tips of her fingers to his cheek.
They continued to stare at each other while his arm circled her waist. Her eyes contained only curiosity, and her eyelashes fluttered as she blinked every so often.
At last, the corners of her mouth turned up and he panicked for a second. Had she heard his heart hammering in his chest? Had she seen into his soul and found his secret? That he was still in love with her, after all these years?
Instead, she pushed his hair off his forehead, and his scalp tingled.
He found his hand to be trailing up her arm, round her elbow, over her shoulder, over her shoulder blades, up to the nape of her neck, and then round to her cheek.
Her skin was warm and soft, just as expected. He cupped the curve of her cheekbone, and she was still smiling.
He was surprised at his willpower when he realised he hadn't even thought of kissing her yet.
And now he was thinking about it, and wanting it. He licked his lips nervously, watching the distance between them decrease slowly.
He could almost, almost, feel her mouth on his, and images of when he kissed her a year ago flashed in his mind. What he had felt then rushed back in an avalanche.
He gently, softly (almost didn't) pressed his lips to hers.
Their mouths barely touched, and he felt and heard her sigh. He applied a little more pressure, pulling her a bit closer.
A quiet, breathy, moan sounded from her, and then Spencer broke the spell.
"No, Marvin! Don't eat the soap! That's our fancy soap! It won't taste good!"
Carly squeaked in shock and hurled herself away from him, trembling. Her eyes were wide, and her hand was pressed to her mouth.
"Carly," Freddie began in a husky voice. "Carly, wait –"
"You need help, Spencer?" Carly suddenly yelled in the direction of her brother, hands shaking.
"No, I'm OK, kiddo!"
"OK, I'll come and help you!"
She darted into her brother's room, leaving Freddie alone.
"Shit," he muttered, dropping his head into his hands. "Shit."